Gopalan Suresh Raj's Web Cornucopia
An Oasis for the parched Enterprise Services Engineer/Developer

    Viewpoints-Microsoft's .NET Strategy


    It looks like Microsoft had two streams of framework development in parallel for the last couple of years. One is the COM+ framework and the traditional DNA architecture and the second, the new one, the .NET Platform, which has its roots in Microsoft’s Java. At some point of time a decision was made to go with the new stuff.

    Now Microsoft is trying to do its best to shade this major direction change. The change is presented as an evolutional one although it is actually revolutional. It is very important for Microsoft’s customers to feel that the new stuff is based on proven existing technology. This may also be the additional reason for delaying full implementation of the .NET component services in order to have an application server as part of the new platform. The Microsoft .NET Platform targets a framework called the .NET Base Class Library (BCL). .NET compilers don’t produce native machine code; instead, they generate a pseudo-machine code called Intermediate Language (IL) that’s executed by the .NET run-time. This new programming paradigm simplifies the Windows programming model and makes Web applications easier to write. It also claims to enable a new generation of software that runs on every conceivable type of computing device, from the most powerful Web server to the lowliest hand-held PC.

    Most people believe that the component services that are now provided by COM+ (MTS) will be rewritten in future versions of the .NET Platform. It seems that it was not fully done yet due to time and resource constraints. According to some, COM+ 2.0 evolved into NGWS (Next Generation Windows Services), which at the last minute (a few or two before PDC) changed to .NET. ( But certainly there are already many things implemented in the .NET Platform replacing the COM+ infrastructure:

    COM+ Infrastructure .NET Platform
    Activation Remoting
    Context Management Application Domains
    Declarative Security Security
    Database Connection Pooling __ NOT AVAILABLE AS OF YET__
    Message Queuing Channel
    Multithreading Thread Management and Pooling
    Packaging and Registration Assemblies
    Transaction Management and Distributed Transactions __ NOT AVAILABLE AS OF YET__

    Corel porting .NET to Linux?

    According to regulatory documents filed Wednesday, October 11, 2000 with the SEC, Corel has granted Microsoft the option to direct Corel to port part or all of Microsoft’s .NET architecture to run on Linux. As you may recall, Microsoft recently invested $135 million in the financially troubled software maker and announced that the two companies would jointly develop products for Microsoft’s .Net effort, which lets customers “rent” software over the Internet (the marketing way of saying that .NET facilitates writing web services, which may be charged for). When the investment was announced it was greeted with surprise – Corel had long been a vocal critic of Redmond and its outstanding legal issues with the software behemoth suggested that a partnership was out of the question. But Corel’s financial woes following the collapse of a proposed merger with Inprise were apparently dire enough to merit inking a strategic relationship with Microsoft. Microsoft, of course, has long been struggling to develop a strategy for Linux, which many analysts believe could compete with or supplant Windows in certain areas over the next five to 10 years. It’s now apparent that Corel may well be the first phase of that strategy.

    Author Bibliography

    Gopalan Suresh Raj is a Senior Analyst, Software Architect, and Developer with expertise in multi-tiered systems development, enterprise service architectures, and distributed computing. He is also an active author, including contributions to Professional JMS Programming, Wrox Press, 2001, Enterprise Java Computing-Applications and Architecture, Cambridge University Press, 1999, and The Awesome Power of JavaBeans, Manning Publications Co., 1998. He has submitted papers at international fora, and his work has been published in numerous technical journals. Visit him at his Web Cornucopia© site ( or mail him at